Possible to have dimensions end at a perpendicular to line (not a point)?

Is there any way to get around Sketchup’s inability to attach a dimension to something other than a point?

Let’s say I need to show a dimension that originates from a point but ends at an arbitrary spot on a line:

It will show the dimension on the screen, but it won’t snap to that point and create the actual dimension.

I’m used to doing dimensions in Corel, where I can make a dimension from anything to anything (point, vertex, perpendicular to line, quadrant of a circle, tangent to a curve, etc, etc):


Not saying I need that level of dimension functionality, but at least a way to make a dimension to a random point on a line, without having to stick a fake vertex on there… any advice?

assuming working in sketchup
make a dimension into a Dynamic Component

drop this into component folder
dim.skp (8.6 KB)

whereas in layout, where the annotations should be, select a dim object. move, scale…

Am not sure what you want to measure? … if you are not measuring “to” a point … then what are you measuring to?

Also … am not sure what you mean by “fake” vertex.

Regardless, here are some possible solutions to measuring to a “random” point along a line in SketchUp:

  1. You can make “the” line into two lines segments … and then SketchUp will be happy to let you measure/dimension the length of either one of the two line segments … even though the two line segments will appear to be one, long line.

  2. Cross “the” line with a “Guide” … and then SketchUp will be happy to let you measure/dimension from either end of the line to the guide. And if you don’t want the guide to be visible … then hide it.

  3. SketchUp will also allow you to lay a short line “on top of” a longer line … and if each are their own “Group” then they will remain independent lines … and then SketchUp will be happy to let you measure/dimension the length of either one of the two line segments … even though the two line segments will appear to be a single line.

But all of these schemes involve the defining of point to measure “to” … and if you consider those points as the “fake vertex” … that you are trying to avoid … then you are out of luck.

FYI, by definition, a vertex is “the point where two lines meet.” There are other ways to define points … but they involve knowing where the point is located. Your question was about dimensioning something … which implies that the point is visible, but that you do not know “where” it is … and that you want to be able to precisely define where it is.

I also can’t think of a use case but you can use a guide point to dimension to, it can be deleted after and you can move the dimension if you want.
GIF 21-03-2024 2-40-44 PM


The distance from a vertex/point to a line.

None of these dimensions are possible to do in Sketchup, without plugins. But in Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and other programs, it’s a basic function.

The point is “wherever this dimension line is going to cross the line I’m trying to measure to”.


Upper-right corner of this dimension is a virtual point where the dimension line would cross the actual line.

Basically, I’m trying to do this:


From a point (where 2 lines meet) to a “virtual point” on a line somewhere else.

Sketchup gets the 1st, really doesn’t get the 2nd.

No plugins used.

Ooh, what extension is that?

OK, I should have said “without extensions or some extra steps”.

I’m trying to understand your process, it might work.

pretty sure box did that

Just out of curiosity, do you ask Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. to do extrusions, follow me, solid intersections and things like that that SketchUp does?

Of course not, those are 3D functions. But I somehow expected a 3D program, which is by definition much more advanced, to have “full coverage” of much more elemental things. Still learning the difference though, there’s a lot of moments like this…

You can measure from different points like this:

Yeah, I see that you can make it from a point or a midpoint, to another point or midpoint - but not from a point to an arbitrary (not mid) location on another line.

Like, if there was a way to take the Line tool, and merge its function with the Dimensions tool, so you could draw a line from “point” to “arbitrary location”, and then turn it into a dimension - that’s what I’m looking for.

See this SU file for ideas.

Dimension from a line.skp (206.0 KB)

Pardon my ignorance, is there a reason you are not doing this in Layout where this is possible?

Is this an option, see image:

Moving the red edge up or down to desired (or arbitrary location
[dimension from endpoint to virtual intersection makes the dimension follow from corner to virtual intersection.

dimension from endpoint to virtual intersection.skp (181.2 KB)